George Huebner Award for Research Excellence
The College of Engineering George Huebner Award for Research Excellence recognizes demonstrated sustained excellence in research and related scholarly activities. It celebrates faculty who have made significant and sustained research contributions. This year, Professor Ilya Kolmanovsky was granted the honor for his significant contributions to addressing challenges in spacecraft orbital and attitude control, in control of very flexible aircraft, and in control of engines, propulsion systems and autonomous driving.
Professor Kolmanovsky has exhibited leadership in changing the paradigm for spacecraft relative motion control and orbital maneuvering, from traditional approaches grounded in open-loop trajectory planning/guidance methods to feedback control based on Model Predictive Control (MPC) suitable for increasingly autonomous spacecraft missions.
Professor Kolmanovsky’s research focus and expertise are in innovative algorithms for controlling vehicles while enforcing constraints. These constraints include, for example, the separation distance between a vehicle and surrounding obstacles, where an “obstacle” may be a stationary object or another vehicle; these algorithms thus have critical implications for safety. Ilya’s contributions to MPC and constrained control have contributed substantially to the reliance on this technology in applications such as unpiloted aircraft and self-driving vehicles.
Says, one of his nominators, “As a colleague, I can attest to his willingness to answer “any question, any time” asked by any colleague and any student who knocks on his door. His modesty and generosity belie his hard work and dedication, but his research contributions speak for themselves. COE is fortunate to call him their own.”
Aero Department Outstanding Performance Award
The Aero Department Outstanding Performance Award chooses a faculty or staff member from the Aero team to be recognized for their exceptional performance and dedication to the mission of the department.
A former graduate of the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Professor Kolmanovsky has spent close to 15 years of his subsequent professional career at Ford Research and Advanced Engineering in Dearborn, Michigan addressing challenges and opportunities in control systems for advanced powertrain and propulsion systems. His interest in control systems lies in their applications as enabling technology across different domains. His recent research focuses on control theory for systems with constraints and on control of advanced aerospace and automotive systems.
Professor Kolmanovsky re-joined the Department of Aerospace Engineering as a professor in January 2010. His contributions over the years include 104 patents (including 7 assigned since joining University of Michigan), more than 200 journal and 450 conference papers, advising of 24 graduated PhD students (in 15 years) with 7 more in the pipeline, and funding from NSF, AFOSR, ONR, NASA, ARPA-E, and ARC, as well as 11 industrial organizations.